PRS Foundation secures backing to launch Keychange fund

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The PRS Foundation has secured €200,000 (£170,000) of backing from the European Commission’s Creative Fund to run Keychange, a new talent development initiative.

This new European collaboration will promote the role of women in music and the potential creative and economic contribution they could be making to Europe’s music industry.

According to the Foundation, Keychange aims to create new international opportunities for performance, collaboration and learning among female artists and innovators.

35 female music creators and 30 innovative industry professionals will benefit from the project, with opportunities to collaborate through a Creative Lab programme.

The Foundation’s partners on the initiative include Iceland Airwaves, BIME (Spain), Reeperbahn (Germany), The Great Escape (UK), Tallinn Music Week (Estonia), MusickCentrum/Way out West (Sweden) and Mutek (Canada).

Activities will include two mass gatherings of the Keychange network at Tallinn Music Week and BIME in 2018, smaller groups showcasing and networking at other music festivals, a programme of creative labs and online content which stimulate ideas for new projects and ways of working, a high profile social media campaign and a final event in Brussels at the European Parliament in 2019 at which partners will jointly present a manifesto for change.

Vanessa Reed, PRS Foundation chief executive, said: ‘I’m delighted that we’ve succeeded as lead partner in our application to Creative Europe in spite of uncertainties posed by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

‘European and international collaboration is essential to the creative and business development of individual artists and the industry as a whole. Keychange’s focus on giving talented women access to international networks and new markets at critical stages in their career will help them realise their potential as future leaders of an industry that is ready for change. I’m proud to be working with such an impressive line-up of festivals and music organisations to realise this ambitious European project which is based on shared values and a joint commitment to shifting the status quo.’

All supported artists and innovators will be selected through a nomination process coordinated by local partners.

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